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DFA urges Filipinos in Lebanon to come home

October 24 ------ The Philippine government is urging Filipinos in Lebanon to avail of voluntary repatriation while it is still safe to leave. According to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Usec. Eduardo de Vega, around 100 Filipinos have expressed intention to go back to the Philippines, while others seem to be still waiting for further developments. "Right now, lampas 100 na 'yung nagtanong about it. I think the others are just wait and see muna, pero ngayon ang iniisip namin, habang mayroon pang mga flights, from Beirut at pwede pang magbook ng flight tickets, gawin na ngayon," he told Teleradyo Serbisyo Monday.

De Vega earlier said Alert Level 3 has been raised in the Middle Eastern country due to worsening fighting related to the Israeli conflict. Under Alert Level 3, Filipinos may seek voluntary repatriation. "Again, voluntary ito. Hindi natin sila pinipilit na lumabas ng bansa. Binababala lang na well, habang maaga pa, kung pwede, umalis muna kayo, sa Pilipinas muna kayo habang hindi pa malinaw ang sitwasyon," De Vega explained.

De Vega said most Filipinos in Lebanon are not worried about their situation, but he also explained that the situation can get worse. "Alam natin na iba 'yung situation sa Israel, lalo na sa Gaza...We're just being responsible here, we're giving fair warning na may voluntary repatriation tayo. If you don't avail of it, that's fine," he said, adding that Filipinos tend to become more interested in repatriation once the situation worsens.



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